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Archive for January, 2013

 

When I was a young woman–still in highschool–a beloved lady in my life accused, “You’re getting to be a fanatic.”

I hadn’t joined a group of extremists.  I didn’t  lock myself to a chainlink fence and protest nuclear weapons.  I didn’t even promote a political community.  What had I done?  I chose Jesus.  Really?  No–He chose me.  Even me.

Jesus didn’t mind my messy life.  Like a tender father bending down to dust off his daughter’s knees when she’d fallen from her bike, Jesus picked me up.  I love you.  And I fell in love with Him, too.

At the time, my feelings were pricked.  Fanatic.

Now?  At least this dear woman saw something different in me.  Could it be  Christ had begun his transformation in my life?  Did I talk about my First Love too often?  I’m not certain.

I haven’t been called a fanatic for years, but I might not mind.  These days people call it radical Christianity.

So…how do I live radically for Jesus?   Do I sell all of my posessions to feed the poor?  Do I beat my chest at the sin hiddend behind the walls of the “dance club” or sign a petition to protect an innocent life?  Maybe.  Those could be good things…important things.

But, maybe living radically where I am means serving my family with a servant’s heart.  Maybe living radically where I am means loving that critical person I had trusted before.  Maybe living radically where I am means trusting God with my children.  Maybe living radically where I am means still loving Jesus.

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My two younger children lay snuggled next to me in bed–feverish, sniffling, coughing, and talking in their sleep all through the night while the sounds of my teenager’s favorite music drifted upstairs through the vent system. Boom! Boom! Boom! Hack! Hack! Hack!  Sleep sometimes comes in spurts even when you’ve made it through the baby-stage.  Sigh…

Usually patient, I have to admit I became a bit of a “grumpy pants” as the day wore on.  Does anyone know why sick children have a sudden burst of energy  mid-day while their mother sits slack-jawed on the sofa, eyes glazed over,  coffee stains decorating her old college sweatshirt?  At one point Heather put her hands on my face and said solemnly, “I want my other mommy back.”  Her concern turned to confusion when I erupted in laughter.  Gathering Heather close, I apologized and moved on in a much better frame of mind.

Can you relate, friend?  Maybe YOU’RE the “grumpy pants” today.  Maybe you’ve grown weary.  Maybe you just need a reminder that God remains patient at all times–despite the up’s and down’s; regardless of fickle moods.  We may not have all the answers, but we have a God who does.

Verse for Reflection

1 Timothy 1:16

But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life

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Chocolate

My husband usually wakes me with a cup of coffee and a kiss, but his blue and gold office tie lay in the chair next to the bed.   Yesterday, Dave caught the next flight to California where he’s donned the alter-ego of Commander Kennington.

As I usually do when he’s away, I awakened every hour last night–somehow afraid I’d miss the belching bar, bar, bar of the alarm clock.  I shouldn’t have been concerned.  My daughter lay next to me–a “sleep over” we had called it.  Her tiny leg stretched across mine and I marveled that my presence could give her such reassurance.  Little does she know that I’m afraid of the dark and the boys left the back door unlocked last night when they put the dog out.

The sounds of morning are beginning to stir outside the front window and in the fading dark I hear the occasional crunch of wheels as someone begins the trek to work.  I breathe in the peacefulness of quiet–it’s unusual for a house bursting with children and sports toys.  I’ve reveled in a three-day weekend; a break from the constant whir of demands and responsibilities of a mid-life mommy.  No sporting events.  No time cards.  No rush, rush, rush.

But today, I start again.  What is my attitude?  Do I seek respite with the intent of filling up on Jesus in order to serve others willingly?  If I’m honest, I’d rather stay in the warmth and safety of our little house baking chocolate chip cookies.  But, God has a design for this day that doesn’t include melting chocolate.  So today…chocolate or not…I’ll do what I can with what I have–just in case it matters.

Recommended Reading

http://www.amazon.com/She-Did-What-Could-SDWSC/dp/1414333781/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358860997&sr=8-1&keywords=she+did+what+she+could  She Did What She Could by Elisa Morgan

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Fiery Arrows

bull's eye

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.  (Ephesians 6:16 MSG)

Several years ago, my husband and I purchased a dart board for our two older boys.  “Won’t they have fun?”  I said.  It didn’t take long before my words became, “What were we thinking?”

While the dartboard displayed a smattering of pin-pricks across its surface, the adjacent wall looked like a windshield that had been exposed to a gravel truck’s loose contents in a fierce wind.  Tiny holes dotted its landscape from one end to the other.  Who knew the wall would prove such an interesting target?

After dispatching with the dart board and its mini-weaponry, the boys began the repair work.  Patch.  Sand.  Paint.  The wall never was the same.

Like the wall, Christians can be an easy target for the enemies’ fiery darts–even if those darts are cleverly disguised as well-meaning advice or couched in words of concern and accompanied by prayer.  Arrows can even be directed our way from those we love most–family, friends, colleagues.

While we are not immune to such assaults, God’s word is our protection…our strength…our healing balm.  We may bear the marks, but God can smooth over the wounds.

 

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Its about Time Series III’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions.  I guess I’ve always thought of it as something that seems mildly unimportant and easily dismissed–especially when a flourless chocolate torte in a pool of raspberry sauce looks tantalizingly delicious and I’m wearing a pair of forgiving, elastic-waisted slacks.

But this year, I’ve felt challenged to focus on a resolution, word, or phrase to represent an intended direction for 2013.  It’s a word I dread to put out there for everyone to read.  Why?  Because if I type the characters for you to read then I’ll be accountable for living my life accordingly.  And honestly, today I don’t want to claim this word as my own.  In fact, I would prefer Christ didn’t expect it of me.  Why?  Because I am hanging on to resentment…anger….and even a sense of self-righteousness regarding someone who hurt me long ago.  This is when living like Christ takes me to the core of who I am. I can see beneath the thin veneer of Christian-ese and I don’t like what I see.

But the word keeps pulsing in my head…forgive…forgive…forgive.  There it is–the word that continues to thrust itself to the edge of my conscience.  Maybe God has continued to place a thought, word, or verse of scripture on your heart this week or even throughout the day.  Is He calling you to lay your burden at his feet?  Is there something you clutch tightly to your chest because you’re afraid of what might happen if you give it to Him?  Perhaps He is whispering to you just as He did to me, “Put your resentment down, Child.  It’s an anchor holding you back from experiencing what I have planned for you.”  Or, perhaps there is another area He wants to claim for 2013.

Friend, let’s invite Him to do a work in us this year.  Will you join me?  Why not start today?

 

Verse for Reflection

2 Corinthians 5:16-18

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

Invitation

Is there a defined area you believe God wants you to focus on this year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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